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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Talking points war

What's all this I hear about Ben Gazzara?

Hours before the House of Representatives is set to vote for the 30-something time to repeal Obamacare. Washington and its lapdog press corps is hot and bothered by the revelation that the White House thought political considerations and heavy editing was necessary in releasing talking points about the Sept. 11, 2012 attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi.

To quote Capt. Louis Renault of the neighboring Casablanca prefect of police, "I'm shocked, just shocked" that public relations is going on in here.

When Republicans are not trying to stall an already painfully slow economic recovery with a misdirection look at the nation's now shrinking deficit, the tragic loss of four lives in the attack on the consulate has become a new political hobby horse.

An election where voters roundly ignored GOP partisan sniping has failed to deter Republicans from loading up their daily talking points on the subject.

And that is the crux of the childish game being played out in Washington between a do-nothing Congress and a bored press corps -- a talking points war over talking points.

Ask any public relations professional the first step in preparing for the release of a tough news story and the answer ought to be "get the talking points ready." A series of bullet points highlighting key messages, buffed, polished and shined through endless rounds of rewrites and edits.

Political parties go one step further -- sending out memos for the troops to make sure that no one strays from the message of the day.

It's business as usual in Washington -- and across most of America. Especially in the Republican Party, which traditionally does a better job than Democrats in staying on message.

But with nothing of substance to offer the American people to resolve the real issues facing the nation, our Republican "leaders" have been forced top step up their talking points war. And with little to no incentive to break news, the press corps meekly follows along, offering "exclusives" that reveal the White House practiced PR in trying to manage a difficult story.

I can't wait for a call to impeach the flacks.

As for me, I'd much rather sit back and watch Ben Gazzara re-runs. Never mind.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those pesky Republicans insisting on accountability for trite problems like targeted IRS audits, a few diplomats getting killed (what difference does it make), and phone records of reporters being tracked. What about important things like daycare for all.

May 14, 2013 2:49 PM  

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